Upland sandpiper
Bob Gress


Upland Sandpiper
Tringa semipalmata

11 1/4 - 12 3/4 inches

25 1/2 - 27 3/4 inches

  • Description:   Dove-sized, usually upright posture, long neck and tail, small head, big eyes, short bicolored bill and yellow legs characterize this species. Their plumage is straw-colored with dark streaks and a white belly. They have a distinctive “wolf whistle” call. The flight pattern consists of stiff, shallow wingbeats followed by glides. After landing, they often keep their wings raised momentarily before lowering them.
  • Similar Species:   Buff-breasted Sandpipers migrating through the Great Plains are similar but smaller, stockier and buff-colored over the entire body with a shorter neck and legs. Upland Sandpipers have a straight, short bill and light colored legs which distinguish them from curlews and godwits.
  • Comments:  Formerly called Upland Plovers, they are often viewed at close range perched on fence posts or other high points surveying their grassland surroundings. They feed alone or in small groups in grasslands and plowed fields. Grass cover in the tallgrass and mixed prairies of the Great Plains are required for breeding. They winter in the South American pampas.

For more information, visit the GPNC portrait page for the Upland Sandpiper.

Follow the tracks!

Peep's Puddle
Text: Suzanne Fellows and Bob Gress
Web Design: Jim Mason